Market Profile: Triple Quadrupole LC-MS in Clinical Analysis

September 1, 2012
Spectroscopy

Volume 27, Issue 9

Triple-quadrupole liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) is one of the most powerful quantitative analytical techniques available for clinical analyses, with recent improvements making it even more appealing to the clinical market. Waters has an extremely strong foothold in the market, but its competitors appear to be stepping up their efforts in the sector. Demand from the clinical industry is rapidly approaching 10% of the overall market for triple-quadrupole LC–MS.

Triple-quadrupole liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) is one of the most powerful quantitative analytical techniques available for clinical analyses, with recent improvements making it even more appealing to the clinical market. Waters has an extremely strong foothold in the market, but its competitors appear to be stepping up their efforts in the sector. Demand from the clinical industry is rapidly approaching 10% of the overall market for triple-quadrupole LC–MS.

Clinical triple quadrupole LC–MS vendor share, 2011.

The capability of triple-quadrupole LC–MS systems to conduct MS-MS allows them to be highly selective, which is extremely valuable when attempting to quantitate trace levels of a compound, such as a biomarker, in a very complex sample matrix, such as biological fluids. Instrument vendors have continued to make major gains in the sensitivity of triple-quadrupole instruments over the last several years, due largely to improved ionization sources and front-end ion optics, which have been crucial to helping grow demand from the clinical industry.

Waters is the clear leader in the clinical market for triple-quadrupole LC–MS, and already a large installed base of Waters instruments in hospitals around the world is in use for neonatal screening. AB Sciex is by far the world leader in triple-quadrupole LC–MS, and a significant percentage of its systems are used in clinical research applications. Although PerkinElmer does not manufacture its own triple-quadrupole systems, it has a strong relationship with Waters, whose systems PerkinElmer sells into the neonatal screening market, along with consumables and other service for such applications. Competitors such as Agilent and Thermo have recently acquired companies involved in diagnostic testing products, and are clearly developing MS-based diagnostic solutions, much of which will be based around triple-quadrupole LC–MS. At close to $80 million already, the clinical market for triple-quadrupole LC–MS should see very strong growth for the foreseeable future.

The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report titled The Global Assessment Report, 12th Edition: The Laboratory Life Science and Analytical Instrument Industry, September 2012. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Vice President, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, www.strategic-directions.com.